Jesus Christ is the central figure of the Bible and of history.

SEPARATE JESUS CHRIST FROM CHRISTIANITY

The words Christian and Christianity are not Bible terms. (‘Christian’ is used a few times in the original Greek text but only to reference the name society had given to the followers of Jesus Christ.)

The usual Bible term for a person who has personally accepted God’s offer (received new life) is the phrase ‘in Christ.’ Examples: ‘if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature’... ‘brothers in Christ’... ‘they were in Christ before I was’... ‘the dead in Christ shall rise first.’ The Bible expresses concepts but doesn’t put labels on people.

Today the words Christian and Christianity are so entrenched in our language and culture that we can’t shed them, but they’re too corrupted to describe and illustrate the real message of the Bible.

Therefore, to understand what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, we need to separate him from Christianity and try to forget about religious systems and about the people who distort his words and wrongly use his name. We need to see him as the Bible presents him, not as our contemporary American culture portrays him.

ONE LIFE

He was born in a stable,
In an obscure village.
From there he traveled
Less than 200 miles.

He never won an election,
He never went to college,
He never owned a home,
He never had much money.

He became a nomadic preacher,
Popular opinion turned against Him,
He was betrayed by a close friend,
And His other friends ran away.

He was unjustly condemned to death,
Crucified on a cross among thieves
On a hill overlooking the town dump,
And when dead, laid in a borrowed grave.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone,
Empires have risen and fallen,
Mighty armies have marched,
And powerful rulers have reigned.

Yet no one effected men as much as He.
He is the central figure of the human race.
He is the Messiah, the Son of God,
JESUS CHRIST.

– Author unknown

NO ONE HAS EFFECTED THE WORLD LIKE JESUS CHRIST

Muhammad, Buddha and founders of other major religions never claimed to be God. They claimed to be prophets of God. Jesus Christ alone claimed to be God.

There’s no confusion between the claims of Christ and the claims of anyone else. He stands alone as the only one who could be God in human body.

More words have been spoken and written about him than anyone else who has ever lived. More people have been willing to die for him than for any other cause. More lives have been changed by him than by any other power or philosophy.

Jesus Christ has effected human history more than any person who has ever lived. As historical fact, Jesus Christ is the most important person we’ll ever encounter.

Even time is measured from the birth of Jesus Christ:

  • BC = Before Christ
  • AD = After Divinity

Here’s a sampling of what the Bible says on this subject. 

Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, I Peter 4:16
Word ‘Christian’ used in the Bible (original Greek text)

Matthew 1:20-25
Jesus is the Messiah the Old Testament said would come

Luke 22:66-71
Under questioning, with his life at stake, Jesus said he’s God

For help, see Topic 29.

 

WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?

(there are only four possibilities)

  • He’s a crazy man
  • He’s a liar
  • He’s a moral teacher
  • He’s God

Everyone must make a decision about Jesus Christ, and the decision will fall into one of these four categories.

A wrong choice is fatal!

Anyone who says that Jesus Christ is a crazy man, liar or merely a moral teacher has committed the ultimate sin against God (see Discovery 6).

Choosing to postpone a personal decision about Jesus Christ is, in effect, also a conclusion that he’s not God. Anyone who truly believes that he’s God – or even that he might be God – certainly wouldn’t ignore him. The Bible says that anyone who ignores God, and thus rejects the gift of new life he offers, will end up in hell (eternal separation from God – see Discoveries 50 and 51).

Therefore, making a decision about Jesus Christ is no small matter. Everyone’s eternal destiny is determined by this one decision.

‘Jesus had to be crazy to say heʼs God.ʼ

If Jesus were crazy, then it follows that a crazy man has effected the world for good more than any sane person in all of human history. That’s not a reasonable argument. Reasonable people might say Jesus was cunning, or unorthodox, or even deceptive, but they must acknowledge that he has more followers than any person who has ever lived, and the very fact of his enormous success precludes him from being crazy.

ʻJesus was lying when he claimed to be God.ʼ

Concluding that Jesus is a liar is flawed thinking:

At his trial, Jesus was asked: ‘Are you the Son of God?’ Jesus knew that a lie would get him released and the truth would get him crucified. Jesus could have lied and saved his life, but he told the truth and was crucified on a cross. If Jesus were a liar, he would have lied.

Hundreds of millions of Christians testify that the things Jesus said would happen in their lives in response to their faith in him have in fact happened. A person who has never experienced a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is in no position to contravene the massive testimony of those who have experienced this relationship, and thus a person’s charge that Jesus is a liar comes only from his own ignorance.

Saying he’s a liar doesn’t explain away Jesus’ spectacular deeds.

ʻJesus was just a great moral teacher.ʼ

It’s nonsense to say that Jesus was a great moral teacher but not divine. That would reduce him to a lying, deceiving impostor – perpetrator of the world’s greatest hoax – and such a person can’t by any stretch of the imagination be a great moral teacher.

ʻJesus is who he said he is.ʼ

All things considered, the most reasonable conclusion is that Jesus Christ was God in human body, just as the Bible says. This conclusion is supported by Discoveries 39-46 and 54-55.

Even time is measured from the birth of Jesus Christ:

BC =

Before Christ

AD =

After Divinity

ONE LIFE

He was born in a stable,
In an obscure village.
From there he traveled
Less than 200 miles.

He never won an election,
He never went to college,
He never owned a home,
He never had much money.

He became a nomadic preacher,
Popular opinion turned against Him,
He was betrayed by a close friend,
And His other friends ran away.

He was unjustly condemned to death,
Crucified on a cross among thieves
On a hill overlooking the town dump,
And when dead, laid in a borrowed grave.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone,
Empires have risen and fallen,
Mighty armies have marched,
And powerful rulers have reigned.

Yet no one effected men as much as He.
He is the central figure of the human race.
He is the Messiah, the Son of God,
JESUS CHRIST.

– Author unknown

Posted in Bible Survey.